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Western Sahara and its Sahrawi people have been in the news lately. But what is Western Sahara anyway? Western Sahara is a region along the Atlantic Ocean claimed by Morocco and bordered by Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. It had been a Spanish colony (and may be shown as "Spanish Sahara" on older maps). However, when other European countries were under pressure to give up their colonies after WWII, Spain, governed by its long-time military dictator, Francisco Franco, did not. It was not until the month Franco died, in November 1975, that Spain finally agreed to relinquish its control of Western Sahara. Morocco and Mauritania immediately claimed portions of Western Sahara for themselves, over the objections of the native Sahrawi people. Morocco eventually won out, and tens of thousands of Sahrawi continue to live in refugee camps in Algeria, which has been a key sponsor of the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi resistance movement fighting for Western Sahara's independence. Western Sahara is the most populous territory on the United Nation's list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. c8.alamy.com/comp/GA4ER8/western-sahara-political-map-with-capital-laayoune-national-borders-GA4ER8.jpg
4/12/2017 10:10:05 pm
I have to admit that my 9-year-old daughter was the one who opened my eyes to the plight of Western Sahara. She came home one day after your homeschool geography class and said, "You never told me that Western Sahara is disputed. You have always just mentioned it like it was just another regular country." Oh the shame! Good news is that we looked it up together and had a good time learning more about it. Thanks for all you do with the children!
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